What Differentiates a Master’s Degree in Leadership from an MBA?

MSLS and MBA Differences

By John Gallo, MS, MBA
Dean of Adult and Online Programs

Geneva College currently offers two fully online graduate degrees: a Master of Science in Leadership Studies (MSLS) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA). One of the questions I often get by prospective students is: what is the difference between the two? I feel I am probably in a good position to answer that question because I actually have both degrees! Because of this, let me take a moment to explain what the primary differences are between the two.

Leadership vs. Management

First, understand that there is a basic difference between the terms “leadership” and “management”.  Newspaper articles and books often use the terms interchangeably, but the difference between those two terms gets at the heart of the difference between the two programs.

At its foundational level, management is about the organization and distribution of raw materials and resources in a company. This can include people (as they are the most valuable resource), but it also includes other raw materials like finances, organizational processes, procedures, and operations. Consequently, MBA students at Geneva will take classes in HR (understanding people), statistics, accounting, and finances (understanding financial resources), business law (understanding principles that govern an organization and the regulatory environment), and more.

Conversely, a leadership studies degree focuses primarily on the people of the organization and the skills a leader needs to mobilize and maximize their effectiveness. Thus, leadership students will study things like motivation, teamwork, organizational and strategic planning, and more. MSLS focuses on the soft skills that leaders need to engage employees, assemble them into teams, and help them grow professionally.

Now, this is a bit of a simplification. It would be unfair to say that MBA graduates don’t care about being good leaders or don’t care about empowering employees. They do. Likewise, it would be unfair to say that MSLS graduates don’t care about being good stewards of the organization’s resources or are unconcerned with profitability of the company. They are. My point here is to show the main focus of each program using broad brushstrokes.

Whatever program you may choose to study: MBA or MSLS, you can be assured that you will receive a quality education at Geneva rooted in a Christian faith that brings biblical principles to your discipline, making you a well rounded and spiritually grounded leader of the 21st century!

Get answers to your questions with our free Undergraduate Online Degree on-demand webinar with Student Recruitment Manager,
Ryan Buchar.

3 Reasons to Earn Your Child and Family Services Degree Online

Does God Still Speak To Us Today?

Challenges and Opportunities in Human Resources

Prepare for Strategic Leadership in Modern Business

Leadership in Turbulent Times: Lessons from Cain and Abel

Important Leadership Skills for the Non-Profit Sector

Christlike Leadership Can Shape the Future for Non-Profits

5 Unconventional Careers for a Criminal Justice degree

A College Degree is a Driver's License, Not a Self-Driving Car

Why You Should Pursue An Online Management Degree Today

Why study at a Christian College

4 Impactful Careers to Obtain With A Bachelor’s Degree in Aging Services

2019 Alpha Sigma Lamda Induction

Why Students Are Not Customers — 3 Thoughts to Reframe Your Mindset

Help Those in Need With A Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Services

New Year, SMART-er You | Part Five

How Servant Leadership Can Bring Trust Back to Human Resources

New Year, SMART-er You | Part Four

Communication, Motivation, and Decision-Making: The Keys to Strong Project Management

New Year, SMART-er You | Part Three

Finishing Your College Degree: How to Do It and Why You Should

Myth Online Learning Online Education is Easier

New Year, SMART-er You | Part Two

Why an MBA from a Christian Institution Matters in Today's Business World

What if Sunday never ends

3 Signs Geneva College Is the Right Choice for Your Online Degree

The Benefits of Earning an Undergraduate Degree at a Christian College

New Year, SMART-er You | Part One

Register for Our FREE Online Graduate Degree Program Informational Webinar

Reasons Why Completing Your College Degree Is a Good Idea

Why Intrinsic Motivation is Important

Getting Ready to Go Back to College Online? First You May Need to Learn How to Read!

“Benefits of a Liberal Arts Education is to a Non-Traditional Student”

The Economy is Good. Why should I go Back to School?

The Apostle Paul, Online Educator

Careers For Graduates in Bachelor’s Degree Programs for Organizational Leadership

Public Relations/Communications Careers For Those Who Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Management

Management Career Paths for Those with a Bachelor's Degree

What Differentiates a Master’s Degree in Leadership from an MBA?

The Need for Experts with a Bachelor’s Degree in Child & Family Services

Career Opportunities For Those With An MBA

Opportunities for Those With A Human Services Degree

Criminal Justice Careers for Those with a Bachelor’s Degree

The Value of a Master's Degree in Leadership

Value of an MBA for Today's Professional

Ryan Buchar
Student Recruitment Manager

Alternate Subject: Best Time To Call:
More Info:
On Line Application:
Official College Transcript 1:
Official College Transcript 2:
Official College Transcript 3:
Personal Statement/Essay:
Reference Letter 1:
FAFSA Submitted:
NSLDS Default:
ISIR Received:
ISIR Selected for Verification:
Verification Documents Received:
Aid Packaged:
Cash Pay:
Using VA Benefits:
Certificate of Eligibility Received:
Military Tuition Assistance:
Tuition Reimbursement:
Tuition Reimbursement Docs Received:
MPN and Entrance Counseling:

© 2022 Geneva College | All Rights Reserved

Website Designed By: SociumDigital